Friday 19 February 2016

Our Contribution to the Imperial War Museum's War Memorial Register

When this project was first suggested back in November 2013 the only sources we were aware of for War Memorials in the Barnsley area were the War Memorials Online (WMO) site and the War Memorials Archive.  This latter site was recently renamed the War Memorials Register (WMR).  Another organisation that is concerned is the War Memorials Trust (WMT). 

It's a little bit confusing to the new user, but basically the WMT is about grants for the repair and maintenance of existing memorials. Both the WMR and WMO were based on a survey done in the 1980s into local publically accessible memorials. Memorials can be submitted to WMO, which is run by the WMT and seeks to create a database of memorials and their condition, by anyone who creates an online account, whereas memorials can only added to the WMR by Imperial War Museum staff and IWM volunteers via their dedicated interface.
Two members of the BWMP committee, Linda and Pete, are official IWM volunteers and are gradually adding the details, photographs and names from our 600+ war memorials to the WMR site.  It is a very slow task as the interface is complicated and a lot of information is requested that, to be honest, we often don't have.   

In November 2013 a download of the Barnsley area entries gave us 74 memorials, mostly the outdoor monumental stone kind, although there were a few areas with greater coverage, for example Darfield, Wombwell and Elsecar where the memorials inside buildings and memorial gravestones had been submitted.  We imagine this demonstrates some local initiatives in those areas over the years for which we are grateful.

Barnsley Archives have since discovered a file of photos and names lists dating from around 1987 to 1992.  The survey, of 37 memorials, lists 1429 WW1 and 560 WW2 names and includes black and white photographs of the memorials including close ups of inscriptions and various architectural details.  This may be part of the original survey for the IWM of outdoor memorials.  The folder can be requested by visitors to Barnsley Archives using reference A/1264.

Our current list of 600+ memorials includes over 370 additions to gravestones which record individual men (occasionally more than one per family memorial) who are buried overseas or who have no known grave.  We are prioritising adding the memorials which include long lists of names, as making these available to the general public will raise awareness of the scale of the losses suffered in the Barnsley area.  Up to February 2016 we have added 25 memorials to the site.  

You can search the War Memorials Register here.
Try entering Barnsley, but then apply a filter to pick out only the South Yorkshire memorials - there is a Barnsley in Gloucestershire and any listing containing the name Barnsley also comes up in the initial results.

Please contact us at if you would like to know more about adding our memorials to this site.  The Imperial War Museum is actively recruiting volunteers to help with this project and you can contact them at for more information.

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